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Become A Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist

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Working As A Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist

  • Processing Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $50,555

    Average Salary

What Does A Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Do

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Duties

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. 

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. 

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. 

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. 

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area. For example, histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, who are doctors who study the cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.

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How To Become A Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Education

An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics. Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.

The courses may be offered through a university or hospital-based program that students attend during their senior year of college. College graduates who major in other sciences and meet a program’s prerequisites, such as having completed required courses in biology and chemistry or maintaining a certain GPA, also may apply to a medical laboratory science program.

Medical laboratory technicians often complete an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science. A limited number of 1-year certificate programs are available from hospitals, and admission requirements vary. The Armed Forces and vocational or technical schools also may offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines.

High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical laboratory sciences should take classes in chemistry, biology, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure in some states. Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians.

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.

Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.

Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.

Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Advancement

After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education.

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Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Jobs

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Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Career Paths

Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist
Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Technician Licensed Practical Nurse Nursing Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Assistant Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Clinical Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician/Phlebotomist Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Director Of Laboratory Services
13 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Laboratory Technician Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Laboratory Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Technologist Home Health Aid Phlebotomist
Phlebotomy Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Analyst Quality Control Analyst
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician/Phlebotomist Phlebotomist Medical Technologist
Senior Medical Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Technician
Senior Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician Service Manager
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Unit Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Correction Officer Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Phlebotomist 2.8 years
Top Employers Before
Phlebotomist 27.6%
Cashier 5.6%
Internship 1.9%
Teller 1.5%
Top Employers After
Phlebotomist 31.8%
Technician 2.1%

Do you work as a Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist?

Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Demographics

Gender

Female

81.0%

Male

16.9%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

4.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.2%

Tagalog

6.6%

French

4.4%

Hindi

4.4%

Cherokee

2.2%

Dakota

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

German

1.1%

Portuguese

1.1%

Ilocano

1.1%

Russian

1.1%

Persian

1.1%

Hmong

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%
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Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.4%

Kaplan University

9.8%

Remington College

8.5%

Fresno City College

6.1%

Allied Medical and Technical Institute

4.3%

Delgado Community College

4.3%

California State University - Chico

4.3%

Concorde Career College

4.3%

Weber State University

4.3%

Hillsborough Community College

4.3%

University of Southern Maine

3.7%

Eastern Washington University

3.7%

Tyler Junior College

3.7%

Baker College

3.7%

Ashford University

3.7%

Ross Medical Education Center

3.7%

National Career Education

3.7%

South Plains College

3.7%

Southwestern College

3.7%

Austin Community College

3.7%
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Majors

Medical Assisting Services

22.3%

Nursing

16.1%

Health Care Administration

7.4%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

7.4%

Medical Technician

6.8%

Business

5.9%

Nursing Assistants

5.8%

Biology

3.9%

General Studies

3.8%

Psychology

3.4%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Health Sciences And Services

2.3%

Education

2.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.9%

Clinical Psychology

1.7%

Dental Assisting

1.7%

Pharmacy

1.5%

Cosmetology

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

42.2%

Associate

17.3%

Bachelors

15.5%

Certificate

13.7%

Masters

4.5%

Diploma

4.5%

License

2.0%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist

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  1. Laboratory Specimens
  2. Lab Assistant
  3. Phlebotomy Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participate and supervise, receiving, checking and numbering laboratory specimens, maintain laboratory supplies and inventory control.
  • Worked Independently as a Lab assistant at an off site facility with a high volume of patients of varies ages.
  • Build trust and minimize patient discomfort during phlebotomy procedures while efficiently collecting blood specimens.
  • Prepared Hematology blood smears, sedimentation rates, and ran tests on patient's urine, blood, and stool specimens.
  • Verify patient information, venipunctures, capillary punctures, Specimen Collection, Urinalysis, labeling specimens and delivering specimens to laboratory.

How Would You Rate Working As a Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist?

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Top Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Employers

Jobs From Top Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Employers

Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Videos

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